Making sure you can print a document properly is a major concern. Nothing is worse than having a printer that doesn’t work. This post will hopefully enable you to set up your printer and allow you to use it. At the moment I don’t currently have a working printer, it broke, however this is the method I employed when I set up my printer the first time. If you have any problems please leave a comment.
Mac’s are smart enough to realise when you plug a printer in. Most of the time it will come up with a message saying you have plugged a printer in and it is ready for use. If that happens, you are ready to go and you don’t really need to do anything. The method I am going to show you is what you can do if you printer isn’t automatically recognised or you want to add a printer over a network.
The print settings are done from System Preferences, within this open up Print & Fax. If you don’t have any printers add the window should be blank. To add a new printer click the plus button in the bottom left hand corner below the sidebar section. This will open a dialog box which allows you to find your printer. Since there is a wide range of ways to add a printer to your network or Mac, there is a wide range of options. Each method just determines where it looks for a printer, everything after that is the same.
In window which you use to add a printer you are given a wide variety of choices. Default is used for printers connected to your Mac, most of the time your printer will be found in there, IP is used for printers with an IP address, Windows for printers connected to a windows computer, Bluetooth is self explanatory, Apple Talk printers are ones which are found over the Apple Talk system, finally More Printers is to find and set up printers which don’t belong under any of the other headings.
Once as you have determined where you printer belongs, it is time to add it to the system. First select your printer from the list. Most of the time it is obvious which one it is. In the bottom half of the window you now have to set up the name, location and drivers. The name and location are obvious. Theses are the ones you see when you select a printer. The printer driver is a bit more tricky. Some times you are supplied with a driver with your hard ware vendor, I recommend you use that since it is designed to work with your printer. Most of the time you have two choices. Use a default driver or a more specific driver. Under “Please Select A Driver or Printer Model” you have two choices either the generic post script driver, which will work most of the time, or you can use one specific to your printer model. I suggest the latter. In the window that appears, find the one related to your model. When you have press “Add” and your printer will be added. You are now ready to print.
To test out your printer, print a test page or photo. If everything works the page should come out. If not you need to troubleshoot. Most of the time it will be due to the fact the printer is not connected properly. Another tip is to make sure the printer has the correct drivers. One specific to your model will enable it to work correctly and allow you to have more advanced features. If you are really struggling (such with a network printer connected to a Windows machine), either Google your problem, or try and see what the vendor has to say. Most of the time printer manufactures will have solutions on there website.
Overall, actually adding a printer and getting it to work is very simple. You just have to make sure you select the right options. Printers connected straight to your machine will tend to work straight away. Printers connected over a network and on Windows machines may have trouble. If you printer came with drivers for Mac I would suggest you install them. This makes sure everything works correctly.
I hope this post helps. Printers can be fickle. Adding them with the method I have suggested is the best way. As I mentioned if a printer is connected straight to your computer it will usually be picked up straight away and can be used. If you have any problems please leave a comment.